Chillin' Out, Maxin, Relaxin' All Cool
The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur. It doesn’t feel real that just 2 short weeks ago, I completed what will (hopefully) be my last chemo treatment ever. I add the ‘hopefully’ in there because of course you do never know what your body will decide to do.
Steve and I decided awhile ago that we were going to take a vacation after the last chemo. The past year has been just exhausting. Being a slave to doctors appointments and chemo treatments were really wearing on us. Having to constantly say no to things, or be mindful of how I might be feeling that day really took a toll on both of us. When deciding where to go, we realized it needed to be simple. As much as we love traveling abroad, I didn’t want to go somewhere in Europe and then be too tired to sight see or feel guilty about probably needing a nap.
I literally felt like Cameron Diaz in ‘The Holiday’ sitting at my computer googling “most relaxing getaways in the US.” Upon doing a lot of research, Stowe, Vermont surprisingly came up as one of the more relaxing destinations. Who would have thought? We landed on Stowe as it seemed like the perfect place to recharge our batteries and slow down the pace a little bit. Hiking, farm to table food, fresh air and fall beers was all I needed to get my mind and body back to baseline.
I will tell you, the weeks leading up to this vacation, I have never been more excited and ready for anything in my life. I have traveled to many places across the globe, but this particular vacation was probably the most anticipated for both Steve and myself. I was even feeling a little cocky after my last chemo thinking that since I wasn’t getting Neulasta, my last treatment would be a walk in the park.
To be honest, my last chemo treatment was the hardest. I felt so terrible. The infusion nurse asked me in a moment of weakness if I wanted to get the flu shot. I am not necessarily super for or against the flu shot. I am indifferent, I guess. Some years I get them, some I don’t. Whatever. In this particular instance, I decided what the hell.
I spent the entire weekend with a fever and chills that made Neulasta look like a fucking vacation. I actually at one point longed for Neulasta instead of this feeling. At least with Neulasta, you know it is only for one day. This shitstorm lasted for 2 days. I was worried it would interfere with our trip. We were due to leave for Vermont a day later.
Sunday I was still feeling a little off. I don’t think I have ever slept so much in my life. I packed slowly, needing to take breaks and sit. I was so miserable.
But then, here comes the universe again trying to redeem itself for putting me in this position in the first place. Monday rolled around, and I was good as new. I had my appetite back, I felt energized and no more fever! We went on to have the best week together, doing very little. Steve had injured his back the week before, so we didn’t do many strenuous activities. We slept in. Had coffee together every morning. Walked around town and went to amazing lunches and dinners. That is all I really wanted. I wanted to do things on our time— not feeling like we had to be somewhere or commit to anything. It was everything I could have asked for after my last chemo. The ability to call the shots for once.
As I gear up for the next phase of my treatment, which is radiation I know now more than ever that being kind to my mind and body is exactly what I need. I have never been very good at advocating for myself and allowing myself to relax. I am the best version of myself when I am relaxed. My journey is not over yet. I don’t think it will ever be over. I am just grateful that I am making the most of a shitty situation.
Slow clap for Stowe, Vermont. Y’all know how to live up there.